Black Women Want A Female Black Panther

Mouth watering women’s liberation activists everywhere have been marvelling over the possibility (pun intended) that actress Letitia Wright, could be the first female Black Panther to appear in the sequel to the immensely popular Marvel/Disney film franchise. Since Chadwick Boseman’s abrupt and unforeseen passing, speculation about who should fill his shoes has leaned towards Wright. There are several reasons why, for some, Wright is the natural successor to the throne of Wakanda, and should play the first female Black Panther.

For one, Shuri actually becomes the first female Black Panther in the 2009-2010 DARK REIGN era BLACK PANTHER series.

The inspiration of picture of a female Black Panther, Queen of Wakanda!

This fact, some say, opens the way for Wright to take on the role of the leader of the one of the most technologically advanced and resource rich countries in the Marvel Universe. For two, some argue that Wrights’s adoption of the role would send a powerful and positive message to black women and girls everywhere. As one writer puts it, “Shuri is a strong, smart and witty young woman who spends her time devoted to the development of the Black Panther suit and its mechanisms.  She is the brains behind the armor but now it is time for her to wear it and take charge.” “Shuri,” as Black Panther, “would let our Brown-skin girls know that they can have brains and be bold.  They can design clothes and defend their nation.” 


Black Men Say, “Not So Fast”

Others are not so confident that having Wright play the role of Black Panther is a good idea. In a recent video, Black masculinist scholar and Associate Professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Fresno, Dr. T Hasan Johnson, argues that it is not. He asserts that in Black Panther, “You have a character, one of very few, that is not some sidekick. He’s a character that’s not strictly imagined through some white lense. This is something that black men have actually fought decades to include and redefine, in a way, that made him relevant to black men, to black boys.” The scholar goes on to say,” We’re talking about an environment in which black boys…on a national level, by the eighth grade, only 10% are literate. 10 to 12% in math and science. Do you think that they can use a highly inspirational character that exhibits high level genius, characteristics in regards to math and science, which requires reading, of course, right off the bat? Multilevel genius. Might that be inspirational to boys who need it?”

The inspirational picture of a black male Black Panther, the King of Wakanda!

Another black man, Muata Olatunji Tchiguka, states, “I’m 52 years old and grew up reading Black Panther starting with his introduction in the Fantastic Four. Black Panther was an inspiration to me as a child. I’m an engineer. And reading Black Panther had much to do with it. It’s a punch in the gut that Black Panther is being replaced by Shuri. And I think it’s going to be devastating to young black boys.”

Perhaps Tchigucka was a bit too hasty in his claim that a male Black Panther would be replaced by Shuri, as recent information from The Hollywood Reporter about the Black Panther franchise has come forth. Sources close to the producers say that despite complications associated with the coronavirus pandemic, shooting for the movie will begin in July. Furthermore, sources say that “Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Angela Bassett are expected to return for the new feature, with some saying Wright’s character Shuri may take on a more prominent role.” In essence, Wright’s return and her character taking on a more prominent role does not spell out that she will, in fact, become the new Black Panther.

This revelation, of course, has sparked all kinds of speculation about who will, indeed, play the role of Black Panther. It still could be Wright, but this seems highly unlikely, in light of the recent leaks. Some say it could be anyone from Winston Duke, who played M’Baka, and who actually fought T’challa for the leadership position in the first Black Panther movie, to John David Washington, Denzel Washington’s son, to the Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o. Or, more fittingly, it could be Michael B. Jordan’s character, Killmonger. Canadian YouTuber, film critic, podcaster, writer, producer, and editor John Campea seems to think so. To hear his wild theory about the matter you can check out one of his recent videos here

The reality is that we don’t know who the new Black Panther is going to be. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Gorilla Style! Peace!